ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, June 6, 2023

ACM CareerNews is intended as an objective career news digest for busy IT professionals. Views expressed are not necessarily those of ACM. To send comments, please write to [email protected]

Volume 19, Issue 11, June 6, 2023

The 10 Best Cities in the World For Tech Workers
TechTarget, May 19

The best cities in the world for tech workers include San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Bangalore, and Zurich. These cities, all of which are highly concentrated with tech jobs, can offer the best opportunities for professional success in the tech industry. These cities provide networking and mentoring possibilities with other tech workers and industry leaders in addition to lifestyle options that provide for a good work-life balance.

The Bay Area is home for many top tech companies, such as Apple, Google, Intel, Meta and Salesforce. It is also home to a thriving venture capital industry. Despite the growing number of tech workers abandoning Silicon Valley following the trend of remote work, tech layoffs and the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, the area still continues to attract top talent. The Bay Area continues to be a top destination for tech professionals due to its reputation as a startup haven and concentration of top talent.

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Cybersecurity and Cloud Computing Have the Largest Tech Skills Gaps
Finextra, June 2

Technology is moving faster than companies can design and scale up their training programs, and as a result, companies and organizations are reshaping the way they look at nearly every aspect of the workplace. In fact, between now and 2027, the World Economic Forum has predicted that nearly one-half of core skills will be disrupted by technological advances. Even with this disruption, there are two areas of the technology industry that are likely to have significant tech skills gaps going forward: cybersecurity and cloud computing.

The number of global cybersecurity job vacancies experienced a remarkable growth rate of 350% over the past decade. From just over 1 million positions in 2013, the number skyrocketed to 3.5 million in 2021. The number of jobs leveled off in 2022, and the figure has remained steady at 3.5 million throughout 2023. As cloud adoption accelerates, more professionals are needed across information and cybersecurity functions. Within the cybersecurity field, the most common roles opening up are security engineers (35%), security analysts (18%), security managers (14%), security architects (11%) and security consultants (9%).

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Should You Use AI for Your Resumes and Cover Letters?
Dice Insights, June 1

Sooner or later, every job seeker will need to consider whether or not they should use artificial intelligence (AI) tools such as ChatGPT to write their cover letter, resume, and other application materials. According to one recent survey, 46 percent of job seekers are already using ChatGPT to generate a resume or cover letter. Moreover, 70 percent of those using AI claimed they received a higher response rate from employers. While HR professionals are mixed on the idea of candidates using ChatGPT during the job search, the trend of using AI tools is already very popular with younger workers in Generation Z.

If you are a job candidate debating whether or not to use automated tools on your resume and cover letter, keep in mind that hiring managers and recruiters never want standard, boilerplate content. They want to read a resume and cover letter tailored to the job at hand, emphasizing how your skills and experience will make you a particularly valuable asset. To that end, if you are relying on ChatGPT or another tool, it is vital to review your resume and cover letter every time the generative AI program creates new text. Keep in mind, too, that AI, no matter how advanced, can still make mistakes. After you read the document for spelling and grammatical errors, give it a second scan and note what the algorithm chose to highlight in terms of your background and qualifications. Did its choices align with the actual job? If not, you will need to do some additional editing.

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5 Negotiation Tips to Maximize Your Salary
Fast Company, June 2

When applying for a job, salary is always one of the biggest deciding factors. Unfortunately, some employers will attempt to offer lower salaries in a bid to save money. This is one likely reason why employee turnover is so high today. According to Pew, 63% of workers who quit their jobs do so because of low pay. But no one should be paid less than they are worth. Unfortunately, negotiating a good salary does not come naturally to everyone and can feel uncomfortable. The good news, however, is that practice makes perfect. If you can refine your techniques, you will be able to maximize your salary now and for years to come.

It is vital that, before any salary negotiations, you know what you are worth. Otherwise, how can you effectively negotiate the right figure? So, to ensure you ask for the right number, do some research before the interview process even begins. Find out the average salary for someone in your position, location, and with your level of experience. You can do this by looking at online job postings. Then, make a list and estimate the average salary for somebody in your position. This will give you a good starting point for your negotiations. Next, you need to think about your own unique selling points and what it is that makes you valuable to employers. This is how you can justify asking for more than the average person in your field. When you know the true worth of your candidacy, you can go into a negotiation with a figure in mind and you can back up your request with data and confidence.

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How CIOs Distill the Most Sought-After Data Skills, May 31

Recruiters and hiring managers are actively looking for candidates with in-demand data skills. After all, businesses that want to make the most of the data they collect need talented people who can use technology to turn information into effective insight. As a result, digital leaders recognize that an investment in foundational data skills is more crucial than ever. Some of the most important skills digital leaders need to support their analytics programs are data management, data integration, data architecture, and data engineering.

For many organizations, getting access to the right data skills means developing in-house engineering capability to ensure people across the business have access to trusted information sources. Also, keep in mind that job titles and job roles tend to evolve over time. Ten years ago, it was all about becoming a data scientist. But now, there is talk about how to become a data engineer. Companies want data people who have a software engineering-like mindset. That is because you are building products. Everything is a product now with data. Also, companies are emphasizing ways to create an integrated approach to enterprise information, a single version of the truth from which to deliver useful analytics.

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AI Is Changing How Americans Find Jobs and Get Promoted
Gizmodo, May 28

AI-powered software has the potential to advance quickly in coming years and change how companies make strategic decisions about their employees. In short, AI will change how people are hired, developed, promoted and fired. Most obviously, AI will play a much greater role in reviewing job applications. AI will rapidly analyze demographic and work experience information in order to suggest best possible candidate matches. Going forward, simply putting together a great-looking resume is unlikely to catch the eye of a recruiter, because the AI system (and not the recruiter) will be reviewing it.

Once you are hired for the job, AI will likely be evaluating your performance. Your information will become part of the overall database used to track, analyze and evaluate employees. Your performance ratings and other data about your employment will now be tied to your profile, adding more data for the HR department to monitor and assess. Enhancements in AI will enable HR to look at employee data on deeper levels. The insights gleaned will help identify talented employees who could fill key leadership roles when people quit and guide decisions about who should be promoted. The data can also identify favoritism and bias in hiring and promotion. As you continue in your role, data on your performance is tracked and analyzed. This may include your performance ratings, supervisor feedback, professional development activity, and even courses you have taken outside of the organization in order to spur your future career growth.

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Managing High Demand For IT Professionals
CIO Dive, May 30

The global increase in demand for IT professionals means CIOs must reinvent their employee value proposition to attract and retain critical talent. If not, they will face increased turnover in their critical tech roles, putting the digital transformation of their organization at risk. After all, a Gartner survey found that only one-third of IT employees have a high intent to stay in their organizations. Factors such as restricted supplies of talent and the ongoing effects of the pandemic altered the employer-employee relationship. Employees desire greater value from their jobs in areas such as salary, work-life balance, respect, stability and a flexible location.

The accelerating pace of digital transformation can be challenging knowing the IT talent crunch will not subside quickly. CIOs can make sure workforce needs are met through workforce planning. Organizations can begin workforce planning by outlining workforce needs and risks for the next two to five years, to identify the necessary investments to make now and the risk scenarios to mitigate. Many organizations do not consciously articulate employee value proposition strategies at the enterprise level. Therefore, CIOs have a responsibility to address technology talent risks. CIOs can implement actions to help address immediate issues, such as running a diagnostic to identify talent challenges that may be occurring, while structuring a response to technology talent expectations.

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Making ChatGPT Work For You
eLearn Magazine, April 2023

Within academia, ChatGPT is growing in popularity as a way to study, write papers and complete course assignments. But there are many more uses for ChatGPT that are just now being explored. Taking a proactive and positive approach to this type of technology can be beneficial to educators and their students. Because learners will use ChatGPT and other forms of AI whether or not instructors approve, the best approach instructors can take is a constructive and proactive one that includes teaching students how to use these tools effectively and ethically.

Going forward, ChatGPT could be used to answer questions that learners have about course material, or it could be used to provide information on a topic that instructors are covering in the classroom. If instructors have assigned readings for a course, they could ask learners to pose questions to ChatGPT about the material. ChatGPT can be used very effectively to help clarify difficult concepts or to provide additional context. Additionally, ChatGPT can provide a more dynamic learning experience by offering a new perspective on the material that may be different from that of the instructor. This can encourage students to think critically about the material and broaden their understanding of the topic.

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Education is Always Changing: We Need to Define CS to Keep the Good Stuff
Blog@CACM, May 28

While curricular redesign is a pressing issue at many universities looking to keep ahead of new technological trends, it is not always clear what needs to be changed. Change for the sake of change might not be the best approach, especially when it comes to introductory courses. Some institutions keep changing their introductory course, mostly because of hype and fashion cycles. New languages come into fashion, and old programming methods go out of fashion. But the results stay pretty much the same, because introductory programming is a hard course to get right, and most of the time, what is being changed has little to do with why the class is not succeeding.

When changing the computer science curriculum, efforts should be made to protect the elements that are most important. Attention should be directed to the things that really need to change, and this change should not be driven by the hype or fashion of the moment. One strategy that has proven successful is to develop a definition of computer science that protects what is important, and that codifies what is core. There is a tendency over time for departments to narrow the field, to get to a small kernel of what the department is really about. Resources become scarce, or educators develop a mindset that they are scarce. Maybe competition for hiring slots forces departments to refine about what they most care about, but this is too often decided for the short-term, not for the long-term.

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